Kiku opened his eyes, only to see a tall, lean(ish?) figure poring over him worriedly.

"Japan, you alive?" The United States of America, or rather America, asked him.

"Yes, hopefully." He replied. "Why are you here, Amerika-san? And what really happened?"

"Nothing, man, just this comic I had to return. Like, it was weird, and the kink-"

"Umm.." Kiku interrupted, "I was talking about myself. Why am I here?"

"Well, I planned to visit you so I could return your stuff back, and the door was locked. You weren't picking up your calls, so I asked SK to give me a spare key, since it was probably 'made in Korea'," America began, only to be interrupted by Japan.

"My keys aren't made in Korea. Get to the point."

"Yeah, and then he asked around and China had a spare, so he gave it to me after I told him why, and then I opened the door, only to see you lying in a pool of your own blood. Arigato Kamisama for that."

"Better not use my language that way unless you want me to slice you with my katana like in the old days."

"Well, you shouldn't draw porn either, y'know." America replied and sat down besides Japan, who lay on his futon. Their eyes met for a moment, until Kiku looked away, embarrassed.

Japan observed America for quite a bit. He's nice, speaks an awful lot, but there's something I just cannot put a finger on. Something strange...

Something, that might trouble him later.

"So, dude, China sent dinner. Or lunch, now that you think about it." America spoke up, interrupting Japan's train of thought.

"Yes, let's eat." Japan replied.

They ate, amid America's constant chatter always followed by Japan with the four words of doom everytime he was asked his opinion. Japan was still thinking whether anything was off. He thought that there was something wrong with this atmosphere.

With America

With himself.

As he bode farewell to America, thanking him for his help, he noticed a text message from...South Korea?

It read:

Don't isolate yourself, hyung. I could hear you screaming your lungs out. If it hurts that much, we are here to help, you know? Because nice is made in Korea!

He replied:

Oh, shut up. I'm fine, just sick. Idiot.

Another testimony, he thought while he entered his room, hoping that he could have a good rest. Just to confirm, he called out.

"Kuro. Are you there?"

"I'm here." He heard a loud reply. But he wasn't sure.

He looked at Pochi, now inside due to the weather, chasing an ant.

The dog remained unshaken, and continued chasing the ant, which, according to Kiku, was weird.

"So it was just me." He said to himself.

"Yes, you. A different you. A stronger you. We can continue the way we were once, you know?" The voice replied.

"Or?"

"Or you continue paying the price, while I try to reign as the Teikoku, the empire."


A/N: Holy FrUK, this was hard. Well, I finished the final writeup at 12:14 but my timezone is early so it doesn't count, I still did it.

Sorry it's so short though.

Also, Japan ain't gonna tell anyone anything soon.